Vol. VI No. 22 - Tuesday
July 24, - July 30, 2007



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TRAVEL & TOURISM
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Four Seasons welcomes Pio Cesare at next winemaker’s dinner

Which is more venomous – Man or snake?

Seven amazing Thai products to be marketed to the world

 

Four Seasons welcomes Pio Cesare at next winemaker’s dinner

Italasia and the Four Season’s Chiang Mai are proud to welcome Mr. Pio Boffa from Pio Cesare wines for an unforgettable winemaker’s dinner on Saturday, 11th of August at the Resort’s spectacular poolside Terraces. The evening starts with cocktails at 7:00 pm followed by a five-course menu at 8:00 pm.

One of the featured wines for the Pio Cesare winemaker’s dinner
Pio Boffa is the fourth generation of the winemaking family at Pio Cesare. He has led his family’s change into modern winemaking with an approach of minimal intervention. Year after year, the wines of Pio Cesare have gained international recognition as some of the world’s best wines. Throughout the evening, Pio will personally present his wines and explain the different wines tasted. Each selected wine will be coupled with Italian cuisine, reflecting the Piedmont region, prepared by his wife, Nicoletta Boffa.
The Pio Cesare wines matched up with cuisine from the Four Seasons Chiang Mai will include: Pio Cesare Gavi , DOCG, 2003; Pio Cesare Langhe Arneis, DOC, 2003; Pio Cesare Dolcetto d’Alba DOC; Pio Cesare Barbera d’Alba “Fides” DOC and the Pio Cesare Barolo, DOCG, 1998.
Tickets are Baht 1,900 per person plus applicable taxes and can be reserved by calling the Resort on 053 289 181 or email:[email protected] fourseasons.com. Due to limited availability reserving your seat well in advance is recommended.

 

 

Which is more venomous – Man or snake?

By Pierre Chaslin, translated from French by David H. Engel
This morning, while pushing back the sliding glass door between my bedroom and terrace, I discovered the remains of a banded krait, wedged against the door post. The krait, one of Asia’s five species of extremely venomous and potentially fatal snakes, is sluggish during the day, but especially active and dangerous at night. It preys on small mammals, lizards and snakes. But since several species of poisonous snakes have the habit of slithering down branches, dropping onto the roof and often squeezing their way into a room, I have been well advised to prune off the branches that hang over the house.
They say that snakes have a tendency to avoid confrontation and to flee. But if, unintentionally, you step on a king cobra guarding its brood, beware.
People often think that Asia is swarming with snakes but actually, encounters are quite rare. Luckily, snakes, as skittish as people, don’t seem to bother the millions of Thai rice farmers who work barefoot in their paddies. Of all the sixty four million Thais only four die each year from snake bites. In any event, if a snake puts in an appearance in a Thai garden, instead of attempting to kill it, it is better to let it escape on its own, for it may be the spirit of a family member who has come to protect the house, or is just visiting for sentimental reasons.
Regardless, our relationship with reptiles is completely irrational. I recall a Mauritian colleague at Silpakorn University who would shiver and get gooseflesh at the mere mention of the word “snake”. Then again, Khun Saree, the mother of my friend Pong, for twenty years treated her snakes like domestic animals almost as if they were pets. Out of all the lowliest creatures in this world she had chosen the company of cobras. Whenever I would visit my friends in their modest cottage in Thonburi, right next to the Temple of Dawn, I had to gather my courage climbing the open wooden stairs to get up to the first floor. The snakes lived below. Khun Saree would calmly walk among them bringing their daily ration of milk, just like the priestesses of that Indian temple devoted to snakes and to the goddess Kali. The honeymoon between Khun Saree and the snakes suddenly ended, however, on the day her little dog was bitten by one of those charming creatures.
Khun Saree’s obsession is understandable considering the veneration existing in a good part of Asia for nagas, those mythical creatures uncoiling along the stairways of temples. Those stairway serpents, the creeping nagas, stretch out extremely long like the ones leading to the temple on Doi Suthep, perched a thousand meters high up on a mountainside in Chiang Mai. To get there you must climb a stairway of 306 steps bordered on both sides by nagas covered with green and brown ceramic scales. This remarkable site was discovered by an aged white elephant belonging to King Kuenna. It was charged by his master with the task of finding an appropriate site for burying a relic of the Buddha. After a prolonged wandering search the elephant finally halted on Doi Suthep and realizing it had at last found the ideal spot, it died. There a chedi, guarded by an “umbrella naga”, was built for the relic. The “umbrella naga”, with seven heads, is believed to be a protector of the Buddha.
This matter of snakes brings to mind a visit I made some time ago to the mountain resort of Pai. There nature is still intact; the air is still free of pollution; walking is invigorating. Needless to say, one does see peripatetic phantoms of farangs rendered almost transparent by drugs. And on a recent visit to Pai, unsurprisingly, I again glimpsed more drifting victims of that profitable traffic. But before reaching Pai, passage on the road was impeded several hours, not by drug traffic, but by a transaction of unpolluted nature. The macadam of the road surface seemed to be undulating, like the illusion caused by waves of intense heat. In fact, the whole road had been invaded by a flood tide of reptiles arriving in wave after wave. I heard later that they consisted of two hostile dens that had chosen that bit of tar on which to settle their vendetta.


Seven amazing Thai products to be marketed to the world

“Amazing Thailand” will remain the tourism marketing brand for the kingdom next year with a new tagline centered on seven “amazing products” the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) plans to launch.
TAT Governor, Ms. Phornsiri Manoharn, said the 2008 tourism marketing strategies would be employed under four key frameworks. She said the brand awareness of Amazing Thailand would be strengthened to depict the kingdom as a high-end, safe and distinctive tourist destination.
The other three frameworks include a plan to expand its high-spend tourist markets such as golfers, families and baby boomers; to maintain its market share and stimulate repeat visits among leisure tourists; and to increase the country’s competitive edge through the use of online marketing.
Ms. Phornsiri said tourism products for next year were classified into seven products: The World’s Friendliness Culture; Land of Heritage and History; Sun, Surf and Serenity; Your Sense with Unique Trends; The Beauty of Natural Wonders; The Beauty of Wellness and Wellbeing; and The Land of Year-Round Festivities.
The country aims to attract a total of 15.7 million visitor arrivals and to generate foreign tourism revenue of 600 billion baht (US$19.90 billion) next year. The forecast represents respectively a six per cent and a 10 per cent increase on the expected 14.8 million foreign tourists and 547.5 billion baht tourism revenue this year. TTG



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